New Year >> New Me

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I know this has probably been said about a million times, but a new year is already yielding a new me.

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Last year I was all about fitness, and while I am still on track with that piece of my life, this year I know I need more. The most recent change was not something I planned over a long period of time or something that I have really given much thought to until now because I honestly felt I was already a pretty tidy and small scale person.

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Anyone who knows me personally, will attest to my cleanliness and well kept home. I have ALWAYS been a neat freak so it shocked me to realize how untidy I was after absorbing the titles below.

Over the Christmas holiday, my best friend suggested a book to me, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo. The title may sound pretty straight forward, but what I got out of it was more than meets the eye.

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I will leave the details out so you can realize these truths for yourself, but tidying up, at this level, can change your life. I have experienced this first hand over the past few weeks! The book encourages you to really think about the possessions you have and determine what brings you true JOY. For me,  joy stands for Jesus, Others, and Yourself. I learned this little acronym during a course I took at my church this past year!

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This was a slow and emotional process for me, as I tend to hoard items for all those “what if” moments in life. But when I was honest with myself, most of my things no longer brought me joy and/or I didn’t even realize I had them anymore!

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Closet by closet, drawer by drawer, I physically touched every item I owned, held it in my hands and thanked it for its time in my life. I know this sounds so bizarre but I swear it helps you let go. Some items I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to and those are the ones I kept. But when holding the vast majority of my belongings, I couldn’t find ANY feeling toward them and that’s when I knew they were JUST things with no purpose in my life anymore.

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After this book, I stumbled upon a Netflix documentary called, “Minimalism” which also talked about living a smaller life, only surrounding yourself with your true treasures and living more comfortably within your means.

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God definitely had his hand over my heart during this process and for the first time in a long time, I experienced true peace. With all of the clutter gone, I now clearly see the people and things I love.

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Between these two riveting storylines, I found myself questioning all of the things I thought were important. Money, the big house, a nice car, lavish vacations, wardrobe, the latest and greatest (fill in the blank). I use to think these were the things that would show the world I am successful and worthy.

After going through this process, I now know some new truths about who Taryn is and what brings her true and lasting joy: Jesus, my family, my friends, my dog, helping others, and being able to support myself.

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I was able to happily let go of 13 bags of clothes, 4 bags of shoes, 1 bag of purses, 5 bags of miscellaneous items, and 10 bags of trash. Saying goodbye to all of these things was not easy, but doing it has given me a sense of freedom I have never felt before. Those things were weighing me down and I didn’t even know it. Below is a picture of my new drawer space. Before they would barely shut and now, I can easily count and find each item I love.

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At the end of the day, it is all just stuff and cannot be taken to our final destination anyway. What I can take and cherish forever are the memories created with loved ones.

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I sincerely hope that you will pick up this book, watch this documentary, and spend some time thinking about what truly brings you joy in 2017!

xo ~ Taryn

 

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